Fairfax Co. students clean up, reach $15K ‘Soap For Hope’ goal

Students in Fairfax County’s Lake Braddock Secondary School have raised more than $15,000 with their “Soap for Hope” fundraiser. (Courtesy David Kelly)

The group of Fairfax County eighth-grade students at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke set a high goal of raising $15,000 to help 15 schoolmates who had a parent who lost a job because of the pandemic, by making and selling handmade soap.

“What’s exciting is that we’ve reached our goal,” science teacher David Kelly told WTOP Friday morning. “I’m not going to lie, it seemed a little far-fetched.”

This week, the “Soap For Hope” GoFundMe page passed $15,000, with more than 460 donors.

While the main goal was to help local families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly said his students will continue to reap the benefits.

“Not only did we use our chemistry skills that we developed in the beginning of the year to make soap, and research the chemical properties of how soap destroys viruses, but they also learned marketing and communicating.” Kelly said. “And they learned how hard work actually pays off.”

Kelly said the project will end next week, and he’s discussing with the school system the logistics of distributing the money equally among the families who were contacted early in the process.

While “it would be so great to go in person to deliver it,” Kelly said the privacy of the families receiving the money must be respected.

“All the students’ hard work, the way the community has come together, how the school district has supported us, it has been such an amazing process.”

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up